25 Surprising Real Names Of Your Favorite Rappers

Some of these names made us go 😮!
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Most rappers don't go by their given names when they hit the stage, and often for good reason. Somehow chanting Trevor Smith instead of Busta Rhymes just doesn't feel right for the turn-up.

While some hip-hop icons break the mold by actually using the name their parents gave them, like Kanye West or Tupac Shakur, it doesn't work out that way for many of our favorite MCs. For some hip-hop heavyweights, their alter-egos carry more than just stage presence. Their chosen names may hold sentimental value or represent their brand, and a few have even changed their legal names to their stage personas.

But even some of the most devoted hip-hop fans don't know the real names behind the rappers whose music they love. Some of these names you may already know while others might surprise you. Here's our list of the 25 most surprising name revelations, but for the definitive list of rappers' real names, click through the slideshow down below.

MC Name: Rick Ross
Daniel Torok via Getty Images
Real Name: William Leonard Roberts II
MC Name: Snoop Dogg
Jonathan Alcorn / Reuters
Real Name: Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr
MC Name: Busta Rhymes
Prince Williams via Getty Images
Real Name: Trevor Tahiem Smith Jr.
MC Name: Dr. Dre
Kevin Winter via Getty Images
Real Name: Andre Romelle Young
MC Name: Missy Elliot
Shareif Ziyadat via Getty Images
Real Name: Melissa Arnette
MC Name: 2 Chainz
Moses Robinson via Getty Images
Real Name: Tauheed Epps
MC Name: Big Sean
Ethan Miller via Getty Images
Real Name: Sean Michael Leonard Anderson
MC Name: Big Boi
Prince Williams via Getty Images
Real Name: Antwan André Patton
MC Name: Bobby Shmurda
Real Name: Ackquille Jean Pollard
MC Name: A$AP Rocky
Scott Dudelson via Getty Images
Real Name: Rakim Mayers
MC Name: Lil Jon
Michael Tran via Getty Images
Real Name: Jonathan Mortimer Smith
MC Name: Childish Gambino
Taylor Hill via Getty Images
Real Name: Donald Glover
MC Name: Meek Mill
Kevork Djansezian / Reuters
Real Name: Robert Rihmeek Williams
MC Name: Nicki Minaj
Kevin Mazur via Getty Images
Real Name: Onika Maraj
MC Name: Future
Prince Williams via Getty Images
Real Name: Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn
MC Name: Pitbull
Santiago Felipe via Getty Images
Real Name: Armando Christian Pérez
MC Name: T.I.
Kevork Djansezian / Reuters
Real Name: Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr.
MC Name: Waka Flocka Flame
Jim Spellman via Getty Images
Real Name: Juaqin James Malphurs
MC Name: 50 Cent
Bravo via Getty Images
Real Name: Curtis Jackson
MC Name: Wiz Khalifa
Brian Rasic via Getty Images
Real Name: Cameron Jibril Thomaz
MC Name: Xzibit
Unique Nicole via Getty Images
Real Name: Alvin Nathaniel Joiner
MC Name: MC Hammer
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin via Getty Images
Real Name: Stanley Kirk Burrell
MC Name: Tyga
Bryan Steffy via Getty Images
Real Name: Michael Ray Nguyen-Stevenson
MC Name: Flo Rida
Aaron Davidson via Getty Images
Real Name: Tramar Dillard
MC Name: Angel Haze
Helen Boast via Getty Images
Real Name: Raee'n Roes Wilson

Correction: A previous version of this story listed “Curtis Jackson” as 50 Cent’s stage name. The story has been updated.

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The Real Names Behind Your Favorite Rappers

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